In 2008 I made a pilgrimage to Di Fara Pizzeria in Brooklyn that was a transcendent foodie experience. The mystique surrounding the remote location and the hidden menu, meant only for the purveyors of culture (and pizza) who would go the extra mile to find the next hot thing.
In 2017, I wanted to bottle up this sentiment for Stubborn Soda, Pepsico's answer to the craft beverage movement. I created a brand platform that rejected the inaccessible, inauthentic and aspirational quality of what it means to be "craft", in favor of an identity built on discovery and a deep appreciation of the moment you're experiencing right now.
Powerbar was making and marketing candy bars to endurance athletes, which they would never eat. Their product was incongruous with their messaging and I worked with them to bring both into alignment.
As a former competitive road cyclist, I understood how nutrition needed to adapt to athletes’ lives in a more modern and meaningful way. A few near death experiences and two kids later, I’m more likely to get my kicks in spin class than bonking while KOM hunting, but how I perceive my nutrition needs remains a constant and I’m loyal to brands that understand that.
I led the overhaul of the Powerbar brand and implemented a content strategy that captured the attention of the everyday athlete by redefining what sport even means. We play to have fun and feel good, despite culture's insistence that sports are meant to measure who's the fastest, strongest and can push their limits the furthest.
Today, “foodie” is not as much an attribute met with distinction, as it is an over commoditized label that draws some skepticism. And yet millions of millennials aspire to achieve foodie status on their fast casual budgets. I helped California Pizza Kitchen create a brand identity on social that felt inclusive and accessible, all while being sophisticated and chic.
As the son of an ad man and a food stylist, it was only natural that I bring my food styling roots to my agency. I created a fully functioning content studio where we could give some of CPK's best menu items the real “foodie” treatment.
The beautiful food photography that resulted, brought CPK's new foodie-friendly menu to life through video, GIFs and clever food art. This modern positioning on emerging social channels introduced CPK to a new generation of fast casual diners and celebrated their brand loyalty and our shared passion for food.
One hazard of my job is that, on any given Saturday night, half a bottle of wine in, I’m likely to give away some of my best ideas. Thankfully I surround myself with friends who reciprocate. On one such night, one of my best friends, Amanda Moore and I plotted out the virtues of a modern, travel channel style tv show for a new generation of travelers, on Snapchat.
Over the next week, while she hammered out a channel and media strategy, I planned an influencer-driven storytelling strategy that was native to channel, all while retaining a TV quality that would capture the attention of young millennials, and elevate their perception of Marriott Rewards. Our off the cuff collaboration has led us all over the world in the past few months, where we have spearheaded innovative and agile productions to create first of it’s kind content in the travel industry.
A sponsorship of the World Cup of Hockey doesn't necessarily come with permission to show any of the in-game footage. Luckily for StubHub I think of the montage from Karate Kid where Danny LaRusso takes Alli on a date at Magic Mountain and they play Bubble Hockey on like a daily basis. The iconic bubble hockey machine is a perfect way to recreate the best in-game highlights, without violating the terms of their sponsorship.
So over the course of the one month campaign we created real-time bubble hockey reenactments of top plays, using an old bubble hockey machine we bought on craigslist, suped-up with lights and cameras, plus hand painted figurines meant to replicate top NHL players. Encouraging our team of designers to get off their computers and to create things with their hands has led to more authentic content, and happy artists.
I don't climb mountains. I'm not much for hiking, I much prefer a scenic jog. I know almost nothing about construction, and I own a lawnmower that I hate to use. I love being outside, especially when a beach and some sort of cocktail is involved. But none of these facts stop me from sporting a patagonia jacket, a pair of killer Timberland hiking boots, and rocking my old school, beat-up John Deere cap.
One thing I've learned over the years is that just because you don't fit nicely into an audience demo, that doesn't mean that you don't identify with the lifestyle. This has been a heavy focus when being the Global PR and Social AOR for John Deere. Millions of people around the world wear those green and yellow hats and are announcing to the world that this is a lifestyle that I endorse. That I admire. That I identify with. This is when you've reached a special place with your brand, where your customers become your advocates and your identity becomes tied up with culture.
I will probably never climb a legit mountain, but yet I insist on following a ton of influencers on Instagram who do. I love living vicariously through someone hanging off the edge of a cliff. It's probably why I own so many Patagonia jackets and shirts. I want to identify with a lifestyle that I may never truly experience. But Instagram and snapchat transport me to those worlds.
This insight inspired the campaign I crafted to help Patagnoia launch the new Nano Air. We used social media to create breadcrumbs across multiple channels such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest to help lead our audience to the water. A day in the life of a jacket you never have to take off.
I don't know much about ladders, but I do know that for me, getting down off a ladder is more of a priority then climbing up one. This inspired an approach to a National Television spot to highlight Werner's partnership with the NCAA during March Madness that we called "Get Down with Ladder Madness". We worked with Werner to create a selling frenzy during the month of March to capitalize on their peak selling season. The result was an energy packed spot, with over 30 cuts that can currently be seen during the commercial breaks of CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tourney.
The last thing you need at a PGA Golf tournament is one more photographer armed with a professional camera and a $10K lens.
When I watch sports I don't often wish I had the seats where the camera man is sitting, but when I'm on Instagram, I sure do get jelly of the guys snapping stories court side.
So instead of adding to the army of professionals pointing cameras, I sent a team of creatives with one directive... shoot awesome content on your phone like a real fan would, and share it on social media. Make the fan wish they had your exclusive access.
This led to a 5 year content strategy that has placed Travelers Champioship on the Mount Rusmore of PGA events social media presences.
Every home has it's quirks. The sentimental collection of objects in which his owner takes such loving pride. I can't explain the joy I take in collecting pictures of my friends parents to display in my bathrooms, just as much as I can't expect you to appreciate my collection of inappropriately titled books in my library. My quirks are admittedly not universal, but the concept of them is.
I translated this concept into Kwikset's brand promise, "Made for the world you live in" by spending hours talking to real homeowners and influencers, learning about the passions they pour into their homes. I developed a documentary-style campaign about their stories, and made Kwikset the hero, a symbol of protection for the beloved keepsakes and treasures contained within each home.
I never ever ever drink soda.
... unless it's like really cool root beer, on a hot day, served in an artsy looking mason jar. But other than that, never.
Is ginger beer soda?
This realization led me to believe that root beer sets itself apart from other soda products because it's more than just a drink. It's the feeling of nostalgia, all bottled up. A content strategy I called "The Sweet Spot" helped us bring to life stories and concepts that hit that sweet spot between nostalgia and technology, that our core demo of Gen X moms could really connect to.
My mother-in-law was the most excited person about my agency winning social content AOR for Lord & Taylor. "ooh la la" she said.
For a retail giant with an aging clientele, we turned towards millennial centric social channels such as Pinterest and Tumblr to reach a newer generation of department store shoppers. The result was innovative campaigns that turned the channels on their head and rethought how a user experiences content in a native format.
"Shut up legs!"
Infamous cyclist Jens Voigt coined this phrase after a reporter once asked him how he ignores the pain when climbing steep hills.
To capitilize on this endurance athlete mindset and activate PowerBar's sponsorship of the Tour de France my team harnessed the power of social media to interrupt cyclists in their feeds with harassing messages written from their own bodies. In this campaign we were able to make the PowerBar product the hero in the story and garner huge results.
I was asked to create a content strategy to help revitalize the world's first extreme sport through great storytelling and a targeted audience approach. I've managed to do both and remarkably still have not hurt myself with an axe.
If you asked me five years ago, which “Purple One” made the biggest impact on my life, I would have told you Grimace. Today, I would tell you it's the blockbuster, prescription Purple Pill, NEXIUM. In my business, there are so few opportunities to make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives, but through my work in healthcare, I revolutionized a storytelling approach that treats patients like people.
Working arm in arm with my experience planners and strategists, my objective goes far beyond content marketing. I want to help improve outcomes for patients on prescription therapies through personalization, empathy and interactivity. This novel approach, endorsed by media platforms like Facebook, has become a new industry gold standard, transforming how pharma brands are engaging with patients.
The challenge of making a nearly one hundred year old workwear brand relevant to young fashion audiences is....wait.....this isn't much of a challenge. Unsurprisingly, "Normcore," urban millennial audiences crave the simplicity and durability of Dickies clothing, just as much as its core loyalists revere the brand's legacy. The challenge lies in the brand's ability to be all things to all people, and I led a team of brand journalists, content strategists, experience planners and environmental designers to take it on.
Working with irreverent Scottish Brewer, BrewDogs, I crafted a campaign to crowd fund $50M to bring their brewery to America. This will be achieved through a combination of great PR storytelling and strategically placed media stunts to help garner attention during the campaign.